Benjamin Jeremy Stein (born November 25, 1944, in Washington, D.C.,) is an American attorney, former game show host, actor, screenwriter, former political speechwriter, law professor, economist, author, columnist, as well as a commercial personality. He is the son of Herbert Stein.
His early years were spent growing up in a heavily Democrat neighborhood in Silver Spring, Maryland. After graduating from Montgomery Blair High School, Stein attended Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in economics. He graduated with honors in 1966, and then enrolled in Yale University Law School, graduating as the class valedictorian in 1970.
Stein currently resides with his wife and son in Beverly Hills, California. He was previously a San Fernando Valley resident of Los Angeles, California. He lives part time in Malibu, California in a house with a Pacific Ocean view while teaching at Pepperdine University.
Stein eventually became a Hollywood consultant, helping liberal writers portray a conservative family on television. He then moved into acting. Stein's film career received a boost from his famous role as the colorless and boring economics teacher in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Stein excelled at playing these bland and unemotional characters, and was subsequently typecast into many roles, mainly as a nerd. He had a recurring role in the TV series The Wonder Years, and played himself in Dave. He also did a series of commercials for Clear Eyes. Ironically, his deadpan monotone deliveries were a new and fresh answer to the typical overly excited commercial personalities, and made the commercials different and memorable.
He was first a poverty lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. before becoming a trial lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). His first teaching stint was as an adjunct professor, teaching political and social content of mass culture at American University in Washington, D.C, and then at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Additionally, he also held classes on political and civil rights from the United States Constitution at UCSC. At Pepperdine University in Southern California, Stein taught libel law and securities law and its ethical aspects. He remains an active law professor at its Malibu campus, having joined Pepperdine's faculty in the mid-1980s.
Among his voice roles are The Pixies on the hit animated series The Fairly OddParents.
In 1997 Stein was given his own game show by Comedy Central titled Win Ben Stein's Money. True to its name, the money that contestants won on the show was subtracted from the $5000 Ben earned (in addition to his salary). The show won seven Emmy awards before ending its run in 2003.
Despite having appeared in many "Hollywood" movies, he is a noted critic of many attitudes found among film studio leaders, but not of the "rank and file" of the film industry itself.GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ben Stein".